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Impact of the Proposed Devolution for Scotland

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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Britain has never relished doses of constitutional reform, although they have accepted the drip-feed of frequent, unpalatable and ill-fated local government changes. Ambivalence to reform was reinforced in recent decades. The 1974 Labour government proposed an ambitious program of devolution for Scotland and Wales. It was a luckless policy, not least because of Labour’s divisions. Now it is all different. The case for Scottish devolution is being argued with renewed vigour. Its consideration is linked with proportional representation for a Scottish assembly.

(Rt. Hon. Lord Biffen)

With Britain being so against constitutional reform in the past, the impact of such reform could be perpetuated by such reform coming at the same time as many other policies on reform, such as devolution in Wales and Northern Ireland. These reforms have all come at the same time and in a short span of time since Labour only became government in May 1997.

Devolution as described by Bogdanor is the delegation of power to local or regional administration, so power is dispersed from a superior to an inferior political authority, or to be more precise it consists of a sub-ordinate elected body on a geographical basis of functions at present exercised by Parliament.

Scotland is to have its own parliament, while still remaining part of the United Kingdom. A referendum held in September 1997 endorsed the Scottish parliament by a substantial majority; 78% voted for a separate assembly, although the turnout was only 62% of the electorate. Now that the legislation has passed through Parliament, it will be introduced as soon as possible. Elections for 129 Members will be held in early 1999. It is expected that the parliament, which will be situated in Edinburgh, will become fully operational in the year 2000.

The responsibilities which will be transferred to the Scottish parliament will include: - health, education and training,...


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